Why Brand Deals Are Bad: The 5 Downsides of Brand Deals

Grapevine
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NMR has spent the entire week celebrating money and branding. As it turns out, integrating corporate branding into your YouTube channel isn’t always sunshine and unicorns. There can be some negative sides to shilling products for money. They aren’t horrible, say on the scale of Ebola or getting stuck on a cross-country bus trip next to a Fred impersonator, but you should be always aware of the possible drawbacks when thinking about that next deal.

1. Compromised voice

Sometimes a brand can ask for changes that don’t really work with your personal vision. For example, a brand will have specific talking points and may even insist on scripted lines that may sound forced and inauthentic. Maybe they ask you to feature their product in a very obvious way that screams “BRAND DEAL!” Remember, a brand is paying you for your video and access to your audience, and with that they have some say in how their product is presented.

The good news is that you know best how to talk to your audience. The best strategy here is to talk to the brand directly, if possible, and make sure expectations are clear on both sides over what you will and won’t do in your videos.

2. The Fans Might Not Like It

When you take on a corporate brand, you also take on the baggage of the brand itself. You become connected, for better or worse. So if your fans dislike the brand you’ve paired with, they might jump ship and follow a creator who isn’t you. Always make sure the brand you are promoting is one you believe in. That is the only way to make your content authentic.

Additionally, some fans are leery of watching channels where they feel they are being sold something. Your job becomes riding the line between entertainer and pitchman. And it’s not always easy to find that line, but you can avoid it if you get things right! Otherwise, always keep your audience in mind and don’t be afraid to limit the amount of brand deals you do each month.

3. The Video Doesn’t Belong to You

Often branded videos are owned by the company that paid for them. This can mean a number of things. If the brand doesn’t like what they see, or decide to take the campaign in a different direction they can pull the video entirely despite its view count or popularity. Additionally, should they decide to license the video to be aired on tv or even in an airplane lavatory, you wouldn’t be able to stop them or garner any profits from the re-distribution of the video (unless of course, the contract says otherwise). Again, make sure you understand all of these things before you sign the contract. And speaking of contracts…

4. The Process can be Frustrating

The creation of a brand video can open many doors for a creator, but it doesn’t come without some strings attached. Remember, companies have just started spending money on New Media native advertising. With the shift in spending towards and industry that hasn’t completely matured, there are bound to be some bumps in the road.

From dealing with legal teams to actually trying to figure out the contracts themselves, just getting the video started can be a battle. After filming, you might run into trouble with re-editing or re-shooting adjustments, and you might even have trouble being paid on time. Thankfully, services like Grapevine are around to help mitigate some of these issues.

5. There is A Lot Of Pressure to Perform

When creating a brand video there’s going to be a series of goals that have to be met in a timely fashion. From putting up the video on time to hitting the correct view counts, it can be stressful on creator to consider all of these factors while filming and editing the video. The stress can take out the fun from doing branded content, particularly if there is any travel involved.

That said, being organized and professional can lead to a lot more opportunities, including more brand videos and great relationships with fantastic companies.


Are brand deals terrible? Not by any stretch of the imagination, but it can be a difficult process when considering marketing your personality to advertisers. Don’t worry though, despite the potential hiccups, brand deals can be extremely positive, and those positives can far outweigh the negatives.

You can take a look at the perks right here.